State announces 8 new deaths, 461 new coronavirus cases

  • Gov. J.B. Pritzker

    Gov. J.B. Pritzker Associated Press/March 20, 2020

 
 
Updated 3/30/2020 6:46 PM

An inmate at the Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill was one of the eight new coronavirus victims, Illinois Department of Public Health officials announced Monday.

That brings the total number of deaths statewide to 73. In the 24-hour period, 461 more people were diagnosed, bringing the total to 5,057 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, officials reported at Gov. J.B. Pritzker's daily media briefing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The outbreak at Stateville also includes 12 prisoners who are hospitalized with the disease, some on ventilators. Seventy-seven other prisoners with symptoms are being isolated at the prison. And 11 staff members are also isolated, officials said.

Illinois Department of Corrections personnel are seeking to control the spread of the infection with daily health checks, limited movement around the prison, protective gear for the staff, and daily temperature checks as staff members enter the facility, officials said.

The deaths announced Monday were a man in his 50s, a man in his 60s, a woman in her 60s and a woman in her 70s in Cook County; a man in his 60s in DuPage County; a man in his 50s and a man in his 60s in Will County; and a woman in her 60s in Kendall County.

In a separate news release, the Kane County coroner's office said an 88-year-old man from Huntley died from the coronavirus Monday.

The state health department reports 2,198 cases in Chicago, 1,529 in suburban Cook County, 320 in DuPage, 113 in Kane, 343 in Lake, 52 in McHenry and 224 in Will.

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A Cook County map at https://ccdphcd.shinyapps.io/covid19/ shows Glenview with 77 cases, Des Plaines with 36, Schaumburg 19, Palatine 18, Mount Prospect 13, Wheeling 13, Arlington Heights 11, Streamwood 9, Elk Grove Village 8, Rolling Meadows 6 and Hoffman Estates 6 cases.

Lake County reported it is monitoring 10 long-term care facilities that have 36 cases combined.

Pritzker announced 500 beds for coronavirus patients are expected to be ready this week at McCormick Place in Chicago, with another 500 beds ready by next week. Ultimately, the facility is expected to have enough space to handle 3,000 patients. The facility will be operated by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Illinois National Guard.

Pritzker also announced plans to reopen two closed hospitals: the former Advocate Sherman Medical Center in Elgin and the former Metro South Medical Center in Blue Island.

The governor reiterated his complaint that pleas for assistance from the federal government were not being heard, forcing Illinois to find other avenues and compete with other states and the federal government to secure the medical equipment necessary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"The latest federal shipment pales in comparison to our request," Pritzker said. "And it was not the N95 masks we had requested and were promised, but surgical masks, which we didn't ask for."

He touted a state contract where 5.5 million N95 masks were procured. When asked what the state's fight against the coronavirus is costing, Pritzker said he doesn't have a solid figure yet.

"Honestly, cost is a consideration because you don't want to get gouged, but I am focused on keeping as many people safe and healthy as I can right now," he said.

After days of double-digit deaths from the virus and more than 1,000 new cases announced on Sunday, IDPH director Dr. Ngozi Ezike warned the latest numbers did not mean that deaths and illnesses are trending down.

"There's a lot of data we're looking at, so you can't look at it day-to-day, you have to look over trends," she said. "There may be a blip."

Pritzker echoed Ezike's warning.

"We have to look at today's numbers, and the next day, and the next day," he said.

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